The Central Statistics Office has today published figures which help to show just how much of an impact foreign multinationals had on last year's phenomenal 26.3% GDP growth

The CSO said the value of goods and services in sectors dominated by foreign multinationals - including pharmaceutical, information and communication technology companies - jumped by 101% last year to €86.6 billion from €43.14 billion in 2014. 

That was largely due to statistical distortions, which included companies moving operations and intellectual property to these shores.

Meanwhile, sectors of the economy that were not dominated by multinationals grew their value by 4.4% to €138.3 billion from €132.48 billion the previous year  

Today's CSO figures show that the indigenous wholesale and retail sector grew by 7% in the year, while the agri-foods industry was up by 4.2%. 

Commenting on today's CSO figures, Davy chief economist Conall Mac Coille said the 4.4% underlying growth is reasonably consistent with the 2.4% expansion of employment last year.

He added, however, that it looks a little weak given the enormous 8.1% growth in retail sales, the 10.5% rise in tax revenues and the composite PMI averaging 60 through last year. 

"However, measuring the underlying GDP growth rate of the Irish economy excluding the multinational sector is a fraught statistical exercise and could understate the true pace of expansion," he added.